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If you can t really eat everything at once they why try to serve it at once non? Not all courses are complicated; neither are all meals. One type of food the French like to serve separately is la salade. Salade has a wide and vague meaning in French. I suppose it does in English too. Sure you might think a tossed salad is "salad" with tomato wedges cucumber rounds lettuce and maybe a few croutons but then if that s considered salad the how do we call potato salad a salad if most of us don t even put any of those aforementioned ingredients in our potato salad? And what about pasta salad? Or cranberry salad? My encounters with cranberry salad have cranberry jello/gelatin whipped cream and marshmallows? Now how can that be called salad? Egg salad tuna salad and crab or shrimp salad might be served on lettuce a.k.a. la salade but if you put any of these salads between two slices of bread wouldn t you call them Egg salad sandwich? Tuna salad sandwich? I would.
Simple vinegar and oil made room for bottled dressings and mayo paving the way for "bound salads." Sounds a little kinky but this category includes some of our favorites: tuna salad chicken salad egg salad ham salad shrimp and crab salad. The chicken came first showing up in mid-1800s cookbooks tuna much later with the advent of canned tuna. In the late 1930s Spam made ham salad easy and egg salad was a natural. With the introduction of Jello gelatin molded salads took their colorful place at any luncheon. Restauranteur Robert Cobb created the salad that bears his name at his Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood; chef salad debuted at the Ritz Carlton in New York and originally included sliced ox tongue along with ham and cheese. (Mercifully in later years turkey or chicken replaced the ox tongue.) In Hollywood s early days Caesar salad was embraced by the stars who happily munched on this trendy salad at some of their favorite restaurants.
A delicate seasonal food it was enjoyed in summer only and not available year round until the 20th century when California grew and shipped head lettuce nationwide. No question foodie president Thomas Jefferson experimented with a number of varieties which were served daily to his family and dinner guests with vinaigrette dressing or a sprinkling of herbs and mayonnaise (his chef was French-trained). As Americans developed more sophisticated tastes traditional iceberg lettuce took a backseat to Romaine arugula endive radicchio and field greens. Originally these varieties were considered greens for the elite due to price and perishability. Of late retro salads are showing up with quarters of iceberg lettuce and dressing. For Boomers who grew up on the stuff it harkens back to the 50s along with Spam salad meatloaf canned fruit cocktail and Popsicles.